Challenges facing teachers of english in developing english language proficiency among form two students in Butula Division Provincial schools, Busia District, Kenya
Oyatsi, Everlyn Mukanga
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Butula division secondary schools have continuously posted poor results in English at the KCSE level. From the year 2000-2007, the average grade for English in eight schools was C minus, D plus or D except one school which had B minus grade for four years. This indicated that students in Butula division had poor proficiency in English and teachers of English had to help them develop competence in English. The purpose of this study was to investigate challenges facing teachers of English in developing English language proficiency among Form two students in (,Butula division, Busia district. Objectives of the study were to: identify problems facing teachers of English in developing English proficiency among students, identify problems facing students in promoting their English proficiency, examine teaching methodologies in English and how they "' influence students' English proficiency, find out students' perceptions on teaching methodologies ." used in English and initiatives put in place by teachers of English in promoting students' ; participation, performance and proficiency in English. Descriptive survey design was used in the . study. The target population was 960 Form two students and 22 teachers of English in the division. Purposive sampling was used to select two provincial secondary schools used in the study. Stratified random sampling was used to select 48 boys and 48 girls in the study while simple random sampling by lottery was used to select students from different streams in both schools. Data collection instruments used were teacher and student questionnaires, observation and semi-structured interview schedules. A pilot study was carried out in a school not involved in the actual study. A test-retest technique was used to test reliability of teachers' and students' questionnaires using Pearson's product moment correlation giving a co-efficient of 0.8 while the validity was determined by pre-testing questionnaires on a small sample of teachers and students not involved in the actual study, responses assessed then ambiguous items were reviewed.Observation and interview schedules' were pretested on a small sample and this was repeated after two weeks; poorly prepared items were reviewed thus enhancing their validity and reliability. Qualitative and quantitative data was analyzed through the interpretive approach and written in prose.form corresponding to research questions. Data was also presented in form of tabulation, frequencies and percentages, graphs and pie-charts. Problems facing teachers of English and students in promoting English proficiency included: heavy work load and limited resources. Teachers of English preferred learner-centred methods but mostly used teacher-centred ones. Students preferred learner-centred methods such as group work. Initiatives used by teachers of English included: urging students to join debating and drama groups. Recommendations included: the ministry of education should sensitize all stakeholders in education .on the importance of English while policy makers and curriculum Developers should re-design the English syllabus that is not examination-oriented and include all the basic language skills then use formative evaluation to assess the learners to enable teachers of English to have ample time with students and help them exploit their potential and creativity in English language skills. More teachers of English should be deployed in each secondary school. In conclusion, teachers of English faced many challenges in developing English language proficiency among students such as limited , resources and poor motivation.